Skip

If you see a hundred jellies, keep going. If you see a thousand jellies, keep going. If you see a million jellies, stop - you're there.
April 4, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Head some 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines or 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo, and you'll find Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Amongst the Rock Islands of Palau is a vaguely Y-shaped uninhabited island, called Mecherchar or Eil Malk, which includes a number of marine lakes. One of the more astounding lakes is Ongeim'l Tketau or Jellyfish Lake, home to millions of jellyfish that make daily migrations, tracking the sun.

Lots of stunning photos tagged on Flickr, including the source of the title. Also videos online, including this short National Geographic video documentary, narrated by Alec Baldwin.

Palau, previously.
posted by filthy light thief (20 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Jelly good post, old chap!
posted by panaceanot at 1:15 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, this is super cool, but I'm still getting over the fact that jellyfish are an actual thing that exists right now, and not, say, a goofy Cambrian Explosion monster or an implausible video game enemy.
posted by theodolite at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Someplace new to send Karl Pilkington!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cool post.

Wow, Palau is really, really out there in the middle of the Pacific, all by itself. Inviting. Looks like a beautiful place. Oooh, the remains of a lost tribe too in a cathedral sized cave. Maybe like the Flores Hobbits?

Jellyfish are so mysterious.

YT vid about swimming with the jellies.

Googling Palau I came across this oddity, Mongolians who were in Guantanamo have been settled there. An interesting cultural combo, Muslim Turkic-Mongolian-Chinese sent to Cuba and now Micronesia.
posted by nickyskye at 1:38 PM on April 4, 2011


Someplace new to send Karl Pilkington!

Only if he never comes back.
posted by HumanComplex at 1:39 PM on April 4, 2011


I am about jellyfish the way some people are about spiders. It's weird, because I grew up in a very landlocked state, and I've never actually seen one in the wild, but just the thought of their little stinging cells...eugh.

My thoughts on seeing the picture of the diver: "Oh god what are you doing DON'T TOUCH IT ARGH EW EW EW!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:57 PM on April 4, 2011


The gentle, rhythmic, pulsing of their bells would be more likely send you back to sleep than to remind you of jet propulsion

Which is very dangerous if you are snorkelling, even moreso than getting stung. And that's how they get you. Now roll 2d6 for defense against psionic attack.
posted by not_on_display at 2:09 PM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


The jellyfish seem to be just part of the attraction of Palau...a google image search reveals it to be just about the most gorgeous place on planet earth. Must...go...to...Palau...
posted by jnnla at 2:19 PM on April 4, 2011


If you grapple onto a passing speedboat you can actually ride the jellyfish like waterskis.
posted by Drexen at 3:05 PM on April 4, 2011


I have been swimming in this lake! It's really quite an astonishing sensation, to feel the bell of the jellyfish blob up against you, like a scoop of Jello or something. They do bump right into you, which is weird at first but really pretty cool.

The lake is quite full of them, thousands of jellies floating around. It is indeed very gentle and kind of hypnotic. Technically they still have stingers but these jellies don't sting, so unless you are particularly sensitive to jellyfish it is completely safe.

Thanks for reminding me of my awesome honeymoon!

And no, no speedboats in the lake. They don't even let you wear fins.
posted by ambrosia at 3:36 PM on April 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


About 1 km round trip, performed every day? Sounds more like commuting than migrating. Still, very cool - thanks for posting this.
posted by Quietgal at 4:02 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


As featured in Survivor: here's some video.
posted by Nelson at 5:37 PM on April 4, 2011


As ambrosia said, jellyfish lake is utterly hypnotic. Also, the locals are amazingly nice people. But Palau is a LOOOOONG way from, well, everywhere except Yap. Thanks for the reminder!
posted by cyndigo at 5:44 PM on April 4, 2011


Crush: Saw the whole thing, dude. First you were all like "whoa", and we were like "whoa", and you were like "whoa..."

Marlin: What are you talking about?

Crush: You, Mini-Man, takin' on the jellies. You've got serious thrill issues, dude. Awesome.
posted by bwg at 6:14 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone catch the part about the lake's sediment being deadly toxic to human skin contact?

Kind of a big thing to leave unexplained.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:52 PM on April 4, 2011


millions of jellyfish that make daily migrations, tracking the sun.
posted by filthy light thief

Do I need to say it?
posted by Riki tiki at 7:33 PM on April 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a bizarre and wondrous planet we live on.
posted by rocket88 at 9:03 PM on April 4, 2011


lake's sediment being deadly toxic to human skin contact

Not the sediment, the water. The lake water is stratified—there is little mixing between the oxygenated top 50 ft and the anoxic water below. Dissolved hydrogen sulfide gas concentrations increase as you descend through the anoxic layer. According to Wikipedia, the dissolved H2S can poison divers through skin absorption.
posted by ryanrs at 9:10 PM on April 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am about jellyfish the way some people are about spiders. --Mr. Bad Example

You are right to feel this way about jellyfish, because their stings can range from bee-sting pain, to instant death.

But these jellyfish have such a tiny, unnoticeable sting, that they are called non-stinging jellyfish.
posted by eye of newt at 8:21 AM on April 5, 2011


But these jellyfish have such a tiny, unnoticeable sting, that they are called non-stinging jellyfish.

don't care, don't care, lalalalala I'm not listening!!

DO.

NOT.

WANT.
posted by lonefrontranger at 5:54 PM on April 5, 2011


« Older Osada   |   4 dudes. At the same time. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post